What It Takes: Characteristics Of The Ideal Personal Health Record

San Francisco General Hospital, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.64). 03/2009; 28(2):369-76. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.2.369
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There is a gap between today's personal health records (PHRs) and what patients say they want and need from this electronic tool for managing their health information. Until that gap is bridged, it is unlikely that PHRs will be widely adopted. Current barriers to PHR adoption among patients include cost, concerns that information is not protected or private, inconvenience, design shortcomings, and the inability to share information across organizations. However, in the future, when these concerns are addressed, and health data are portable and understandable (in both content and format), PHRs will likely prove to be invaluable.

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    ABSTRACT: Healthcare industry leaders, government agencies and the general public are beginning to see the value that Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems bring through increased quality, reduced medical error rates, and improved care coordination. One subset of the EHR, known as the electronic personal health record (PHR), is gaining in popularity. Before PHRs will be widely adopted, many barriers to their use must be overcome. These include the costs to the developer, host, and patient. Patient access to electronic resources is a concern. Interoperability is another problem. It is not practical for physicians to convert different data formats so that different PHRs may be adopted. Finally, privacy and security concerns also impact EHR adoption. Patients want assurance that their data is secure and not used for marketing purposes. Despite these barriers, there is high consumer interest in PHR products. In future, it is expected that PHR programs will be certified, security and privacy will be enforced by legislation, and standards for interoperability will be developed. PHR will also incorporate additional decision support aids and may become part of a social network that promotes peer support for positive behavior change. This paper will provide an overview of all these issues pertaining to PHR.